Skip to comments.Scientists Guiding UK And Sweden Response To Coronavirus Are Battling Online Over Who Was Right
Posted on 05/09/2020 11:15:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Youve probably heard it a thousand times by now. Everyone is saying that coronavirus responses should be guided by science. What this overlooks is that the scientists dont all agree with one another. In fact, leading scientists from the UK and Sweden have been calling each other out online over the very different approaches taken by those two countries.
You may remember that initially the UK seemed to be going for a herd immunity strategy. And then researcher Neil Ferguson presented his model which suggested hundreds of thousands of people would die if the UK stuck to that. And after seeing those numbers, Boris Johnson changed course and ordered a lockdown. Meanwhile, Sweden has stuck with a looser version of the lock down where social distancing is encouraged but bars and restaurants remain open.
The former chief epidemiologist for Sweden, Johan Giesecke, an internationally recognized expert who advises the World Health Organization, has been blasting away at the British governments abrupt decision to reverse itself and mandate a complete lockdown on March 23
Giesecke has been unusually blunt in calling the Ferguson model not very good and overly pessimistic. He noted it was neither peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal and said in a webinar briefing conducted by Chatham House, the London-based think tank, that he thought someone should write a book about how a not very scientific paper changed the policy of an entire country.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Giesecke said the Imperial College forecasts were almost hysterical and the Ferguson paper so fundamentally flawed by debatable assumptions for example, the percentage of people who were asymptomatic but still infectious that it loses all value as a predictive tool
Ferguson countered that the Swedish government made a decision most other countries would not tolerate, meaning to let the virus run more free. He said of Giesecke, Hes basically saying we should allow all these old people to die because he doesnt believe we can keep these measures in place.
But the truth is that so far, both countries have had high deaths among elderly patients in care homes and both look bad compared to some of their neighbors:
At this moment, Britains death toll of more than 30,000 is the highest in Europe. Meanwhile, deaths in Sweden are the highest in Scandinavia, with 3,000 killed by the virus so far. Britains population is 66 million, and Swedens is 10 million.
Comparing the two countries, Britain is reporting 451 deaths per million people. Sweden is at 314.
Neil Ferguson is no longer part of the advisory team guiding the British response. Earlier this week he resigned his position as the leading scientist in the group after the Telegraph reported hed allowed his girlfriend to visit him twice during the lockdown. Ferguson had become known in the UK as Professor Lockdown so his willingness to break the rules he had championed was pretty surprising to a lot of people who are basically stuck at home because of his advice.
All of this is relevant in the United States because were facing the same dilemma. President Trump has cited the figures (2.2 million deaths) in the Ferguson report as a worst case scenario. But he is now pushing to reopen the country more along the lines of what Sweden is doing, i.e. businesses can open but masks and social distancing remain in place.
So we remain somewhere in between the advice given by separate groups of scientists who very much disagree about what the best course was, is and will be in the future. And the truth is we still dont know who is right because we dont know a lot of things including:
a) if well get a working vaccine this year and
b) if there is a second wave that is as bad or worse than the first coming this winter, and
c) how badly Swedens economy will suffer despite the looser rules.
On that last point, the best current guess is that it will be very bad but not quite as bad as other countries:
All of that is contributing to what Swedens government estimates will be a 6% contraction in domestic consumption this year. Combined with a forecast 10% drop in exports, Swedish authorities predict, the result will be a 7% decline in overall 2020 economic output. The eurozone economy as a whole is projected to contract by about 8% this year, according to a European Commission estimate.
Were all told to follow the science but the truth is the science isnt completely clear yet and by the time it is completely clear, we may be too far along the path were on to benefit from it.
Which side will youtube/facebook/twitter decide to censor as “misinformation”?
ChiComs battled over who got the blame ... and then let people know what was happening.
But its nice to know these guys in the West arent bigoted against communists or the CCP.
Sweden appears to be over their hump now.
Upper center section cycles through new cases, total cases, intensive acre and deaths per day.
Lower center section left is cases by age group - right is deaths per age group.
If you look at the graphs of new cases and new deaths, the UK isn’t doing nearly as well as most European countries; deaths have started to fall just recently, and Sweden isn’t very far behind them. The UK graphs look more like the US graphs than most European countries.
Sweden reacted rationally to the pandemic and that will continue to expose them to MSM attacks as the leftists continue to cherry pick data to support this narrative of irresponsibility
Hail to Amaristan! Our glorious Web services will ensure no one engages in wrong think.
Environuts in the UK see a big drop in air pollution and now they want the government to spend 6 billion pounds to widen the sidewalks and make everyone walk of ride a bike
But Trump should "follow the science," right?
That's hardly what I would call a "scientific" argument. It's an argument that springs from pure emotion and a desire to be vindicated, neither of which have anything to do with science, or even sound argumentation. Ferguson loses.
First, while Sweden did worse than other Scandinavian countries, it is doing great compared to all of Europe. Without knowing more details (for example, the relative populations of ME immigrants who are hot spots everywhere) it is pointless to compare Sweden with Norway.
Second, even if Sweden is a little worse, they are still way ahead because they have not destroyed their economy and health care system like we have.
I really salute these guys, and wish WesternCulture was still on FR. I may just go celebrate by assembling some furniture.
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